Closed for renovations
The first time I had an idea to use this statement as a Lesson topic, was in a pizza shop, if you can believe that. Back home, one of my favorite pizza places was run by Italians, imagine that!
They may have been right from Italy as they spoke in broken English. One day we ordered pizza and went to pick it up. At the time the rest rooms weren’t working. The sign on the door said, ‘she no-a work!’
We teased Mom about that for a bit…
Does not work. Needs Repair. Out of order. Have you ever felt like that? When does that feeling come about?
We HUMANS are often at our wits end over one thing or another. What to do about some such ‘emergency’ or ‘crises? And we use those ‘breaking news’ terms too! Disasters, crisis, tragedies….Why do we let ourselves get into these situations? It isn’t for lack of intelligence.
We forget. We forget to remember who and what we are. WHY?
Well, Jesus said to have a single eye. In other words, to keep our thoughts on the Kingdom of Heaven. On the PRIZE.
But we forget, and we place our thoughts and ‘eye’ on material things. Our job. Money. Some item or another that will give us prestige.
We let others take our power away, we get angry, we are manipulated, fall into destructive patterns. We forget that we are children of God, that we are God in action. We forget that we create our world by our thoughts and emotions.
The Israelites did the same thing, if you recall the Hebrew Bible stories. They trusted their God and flourished in all ways. Then they forgot or were manipulated to follow a foreign “god” and fell into despair.
They were conquered by their enemies over and over again, each time they would be over whelmed, they would return to the God of their ancestors and their God would lead them out of bondage and to victory.
The Israelites would praise God and say they will never go astray again, only to miss the mark and stumble…one more time.
Metaphysically, when we look at the Hebrew Bible, we are looking at our souls’ journey.
So, how many times have you stumbled only to repent?—to repent means to turn from a belief in error to a belief in God and righteousness; a reversal of mind and heart in the direction of the All Good.
The Israelites forgot who they were time and time again. I have forgotten again and again, even after I found my Truth at Unity. It takes a while to turn to the Light and stay there sometimes, doesn’t it?
That’s what “Let there be light” can mean…turning to understanding. At the beginning of our opening prayer when I say “open your hearts and mind to the love and light that is in part we are saying open to the Truth, to the understanding of the message, that we are part of the whole, of God.
Instead of focusing our thoughts and emotions on the good in this world, we fill our minds with idle thoughts, musings about what someone did to us last year, last night or a minute ago.
Or we look to the ‘future’ and think about all the things we will say or do when we come across that person again. We expend so much energy on anger at the driver in the next car, or the red light that just turned, the button that just popped.
Why? Because we forget who we are, what we are. We forget what power we have. We let our ego mind go into ‘protect mode’ and think about how it will protect us from whatever happened.
Instead, we should be controlling our mind, our thoughts…be conscious of them and direct them in the way of our Way-shower. If we are Spiritual Beings, let’s BE Spiritual.
How can we keep from forgetting? From being unconscious? What must we do to remember that we can create a better experience for ourselves?
Charles Fillmore did a lot of research on the different religions and spiritual cultures of his era. Then, he determined which one he wanted to ‘stick with’. It so happens in was Christianity, or his understanding of it.
I’m assuming that many of you have made some research, maybe not in the way that Charles did. I started this journey looking at different religions by attending their services. Learning about them by experience. I knew there was SOMETHING more, …different, but didn’t know what.
It wasn’t until later that I started reading about different ideas, some of which were spiritual, some more New Age, some quantum physics, etc.
The important thing is I knew I needed to find IT, whatever IT was. Luckily, I found others along the way who would take the time to get into discussion about all sorts of things. The gift there was the expansion of the mind, the opening to more ideas, new ideas, for all of us.
All this time, I still felt ‘out of order’, because I didn’t know what MY Truth was. And until we all find our own Truth, we will feel that sense of uneasiness; that need to continue searching. Because we KNOW there’s something there for us.
Remember— All who are searching are not lost….just looking for more…more Truth, more questions to be asked.
So, we read. We take classes. We discuss topics with others of like mind, after we find those who are willing to discuss different topics. We ask questions. We answer questions. We pray. We meditate. We contemplate. Some days we are ‘working’. Other days we are ‘out of order.’ We DO all these things.
But we also must let go of some things/activities. Some things don’t ‘fit’ anymore and if we hang onto them, we hang onto the “Closed for Renovations” sign.
We become responsible for ourselves. We do the work. We search ourselves for our integrity.
Sometimes we have to move away from ‘friends’ who do not serve our journey. Sometimes, it’s family members. This can be a difficult thing to do. But if we don’t change our group, the support won’t be there for our journey. We must be with ‘likeminded’ people.
In the book “The Quest – A Spiritual Journey”, one of the very first things that is discussed is about having a support group to travel with you. This is why it is important to have a place like Unity. We are happy you chose us.
Not because we need to be in a ‘church’ or Center to be with Spirit, but because we have a support system here to share the journey, to support us when we have a ‘growth opportunity’ or ‘project’ (my term for problem) to work on, to have a place to ask the questions and discuss the possible answers, and often, ask more questions.
Look back to who you were and where you were 5, 10, 20 years ago. What has changed? Do you still have all the same friends? Are your favorite activities the same?
My life has changed almost completely. What used to be a normal thing for me during the summer months softball, has completely dropped from my life. Oh, I still love the game but I am no longer involved in it. And not involved in all the ‘other’ activities that went along with it; practices, games, tournaments. Where did we find the time for all that???
My friends have changed too. Softball brought a different lifestyle with it. Though I was not a drinker, many of the players were. SO, after game activities almost always included a bar somewhere.
Those friends that I have now are so much more than friends. They are confidants. They are my teachers. They are my strength, often times. And I am that to them. We are always there for each other, wherever ‘there’ is.
What has remained the same? I am still the person searching for my place in the world. Searching for God, Spirit, Divinity in all. Searching for my Truth. Most likely I will be searching until I pass on to the next great adventure.
Does anything else feel as if it may have to change? Sure, there is still work to do, still trying to figure out who I am inside.
DO you have things to work on yet?
And there you have your next ‘project’!
Have you changed your thinking, or has your thinking changed you? _ Unity of Rehoboth Beach, October 15, 2017
Have you changed your thinking, or has your thinking changed you?
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That question could start a whole discussion of itself.
So, which came first, the thought that changed your thinking or your thinking that changed your thought?
How many for thoughts came first?
How many for thinking changed the thought?
Most people become their thoughts – they do not HAVE thoughts and feelings; the thoughts and feelings have them.
This is because most of our thoughts and feelings are subconscious. So, that would make the answer to the above question—thoughts came first….
But, once we become conscious, our thinking would create our thoughts. And as we create our thoughts, we create our lives, our world.
We’ve seen this quote before:
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
We’ve referenced this verse before too; the Creation Story, in Genesis 1:28, humankind is given ‘dominion’ over all creatures in the sky, the oceans and on land, everyone of them, we have dominion over Dominion means sovereignty; control.
Metaphysically, all the birds, and fish and animals are thoughts. So, we are to have control over our thoughts.
Either way we look at it, when we become conscious, we are changing our thinking. We are telling our consciousness and our subconscious what we wish to think, what we wish to create.
So, our goal is to be conscious as much as possible in your life. That way you control your thoughts.
In, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, Miguel Ruiz states:
“God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, “I love you, God,” is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, “Thank you, God,” is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now. Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.”
This is one way to be conscious.
Another is to appreciate where you are, what you are doing. You have heard of the monk who practiced mindfulness while he washed the pots and scrubbed the kitchen floor.
We could learn something for this type of spirituality. We are too often tied up in the happenings of the day. And I used the word ‘tied up’ purposely.
Doesn’t it feel as if we are tied up when we have too many items on our ‘to do’ list?
Must they ALL get done today?
When we change our thinking, we change our belief system. Coming to Unity is a perfect example of that.
I would venture a guess that most of us sitting here did not grow up in Unity churches or centers. So, what changed our thinking that brought us here?
Obviously, we were dissatisfied with the philosophy of the church we attended previously, if we even attended one.
I know I searched for a spiritual community for years, looking for that place where I felt comfortable, accepted and loved, as well as, challenged to go deeper.
I rebelled from traditional Christianity. Anthony Anxgorou said, “Rebellion is when you look society in the face and say I understand who you want me to be but I’m going to show you who I actually am.”
Nature is the basic or inherent features of something. Natural means existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind. Spirituality is natural, it is basic human nature. Spirituality is our essential nature as human beings. We are human beings, “being” human. It is our nature to be human and to “Be” or exist naturally
David Yeubanks said; “Institutional or organized Religion is more normal than natural, in fact “institutional religion actually isn’t natural, because it takes too much effort and manipulation. It is not organic, just organized. It doesn’t come naturally, it is more contrived and involves a lot of effort and prohibition of natural instincts and intuitions thru manipulation. “
He continues, “Religion actually works against nature, that’s why most folk are sloppy and sluggish about it, yet committed to the manmade struggle, almost to the point of psychosis.”
We are naturally spiritual, naturally social, naturally sensual and naturally sexual. Why are so many people afraid of being naturally human and humanely natural?
I like this graphic…it really says a lot. On the one side we have many of the thoughts that go through a persons’ mind, and the pretty much dead tree shows what happens to our psyche when we continue with this type of thought.
On the other side we see positive thoughts surrounding an obviously living tree. And easy analogy, don’t you think?
We control our mind when we recognize the fact that it can think only one thought at a time. Our thoughts cannot run riot unless we choose to permit them to do so. If we see to it that our mind is filled with constructive thoughts, it cannot think its old thoughts over and over.
If we fill our mind with thoughts of life and health, the old thoughts of weakness and physical insufficiency will have to go. If we concentrate on thoughts of love, peace, and good will, we cannot hold thoughts of hatred, animosity, and in-harmony. If we want to be happy, prosperous, and successful, we must supply the mind with thoughts of happiness, abundance, and success.
The secret of thought control lies in keeping the mind centered on thoughts of Truth
And just a reminder, our last Principal is to put your knowledge into action, or as Miguel Ruiz says:
“You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action. Without action upon an idea, there will be no manifestation, no results, and no reward” ― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
The Train of Life
You probably are unaware of my interest in trains. It has always been my intent to combine my love of trains and gardening to set up my garden train someplace within my garden. If you don’t know what a gareden train is, ask me.
Anyway, That idea was thwarted when I found out I wasn’t permitted to rent the house I had just moved into, because the homeowners association didn’t allow renters.
So, I have waited until I had my own home and now I intend to get that train working someplace in my new yard.
A train is usually considered a vehicle that transports a series of cars loaded with goods, or occupied with people. But there is more to it than the usual definition of trains.
A train is often used as a metaphor to our life’s journey.
One boards a train at the beginning of their life and travels through various towns and stations picking up people along the way and losing others as they depart on their own journey at a station of their choosing.
The stations represent comings and goings departures and arrivals, starts and finishes; they represent and evoke deep feelings of separation and loss, whether parents and family, friends and foes, husbands, wives, and partners, or lost loves never to be near again on this Earth. Trains can be sad.
Or happy…knowing that people leave for reasons we may not know or understand, but always for the best and highest good for all.
If we consider the track we are traveling on, sometimes it’s straight and all we can see are the views directly outside our windows. No looking back and no looking into the future.
Sometimes that’s good. Isn’t it. Why would we want to look back at what was? Shouldn’t we be “in the NOW?” Looking at what is happening right now, outside our window and appreciating it for the lessons it provides.
And dwelling on the future isn’t good either. We can only do so much to determine what that future will provide.
But then……our track curves and we can see back, and maybe recall some lesson, some event that we needed to learn. Or maybe we recall, with fondness, someone we love, or a pet that was dear to our hearts that is no longer with us. Maybe we remember some fun times with friends and family.
Those are good memories and we should recall them. But to continually be looking back will only cause us to dwell in a past that….. has past.
As I tell my Tuesday class, it’s ok to enter ‘the Valley of the Shadow’, but do not camp there. We must make our way out to the light. Some will move through the Valley swiftly. Some will camp for a while. But we all must travel through to the other side, walk over the bridge and into the sunshine.
We have learned our lesson, we have grieved our losses, now it’s time to move forward.
The other view we get on curved tracks is looking forward to what is come up. We can see a bit into the future, so to speak. We see the scenery of what’s ahead.
Again, it’s good and fun, to daydream about our future. And, certainly it gets the creative juices churning. It can be very exciting to think about what is coming up for you.
I am getting very excited about being in my new home. Not excited about packing and unpacking! But thinking about having my own home again is very exciting.
But do I sit and dream about that all day long? No! If I did, this Lesson would not have been written, the dishes would not be done. In fact, dinner would not have been made!
The point being, living in the past or the future will not accomplish anything and will do nothing for our journey.
Remember the saying, ‘it’s the journey, not the destination that counts.’
If we continue on our curved track, say traveling up a mountain, we would continue circling up the mountain. This same idea can be used to explain our journey through understanding our developing spirituality.
The theory is called Spiral Dynamics.
With Spiral Dynamics, we see human beings evolving or developing through eight major waves of consciousness. And as the spiral travels forward, we can look back, or slip back into the previous level from time to time. And we can move forward from time to time, as we work on our self-awareness or have an ah-ha moment!
Each level is given a color code too, for easy reference. See what you think:
1. .Beige: Archaic-Instinctual . The level of basic survival; food, water, warmth, sex, and safety have priority. Uses habits and instincts just to survive. Distinct self is barely awakened or sustained. Forms into survival bands to perpetuate life.
Where seen: First human societies, newborn infants, senile elderly, late-stage Alzheimer’s victims, mentally ill street people, starving masses, shell shock. Approximately 0.1% of the adult population, 0% power.
2. . Purple: Magical-Animistic. The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena; magical spirits, good and bad, swarm the earth leaving blessings, curses, and spells which determine events. Forms into ethnic tribes . The spirits exist in ancestors and bond the tribe. Kinship and lineage establish political links. Sounds “holistic” but is actually atomistic:
Where seen: Belief in voodoo-like curses, blood oaths, ancient grudges, good luck charms, family rituals, magical ethnic beliefs and superstitions; strong in Third-World settings, gangs, athletic teams, and corporate “tribes.” 10% of the population, 1% of the power.
3. . Red: Power Gods . First emergence of a self distinct from the tribe; powerful, impulsive, egocentric, heroic. Magical-mythic spirits, dragons, beasts, and powerful people. Archetypal gods and goddesses, powerful beings, forces to be reckoned with, both good and bad. Feudal lords protect underlings in exchange for obedience and labor. The basis of feudal empires –power and glory. The world is a jungle full of threats and predators. Conquers, and dominates; enjoys self to the fullest without regret or remorse; be here now.
Where seen: The “terrible twos,” rebellious youth, frontier mentalities, feudal kingdoms, epic heroes, James Bond villains, gang leaders, soldiers of fortune, New-Age narcissism, wild rock stars, Atilla the Hun, Lord of the Flies. 20% of the population, 5% of the power.
4. . Blue: Mythic Order. Life has meaning, direction, and purpose, with outcomes determined by an all-powerful Other or Order. This righteous Order enforces a code of conduct based on absolutist and unvarying principles of “right” and “wrong.” Violating the code or rules has severe, perhaps everlasting repercussions. Following the code yields rewards for the faithful. Basis of ancient nations. Rigid social hierarchies; paternalistic; one right way and only one right way to think about everything. Law and order; impulsivity controlled through guilt; concrete-literal and fundamentalist belief; obedience to the rule of Order; strongly conventional and conformist. Often “religious” or “mythic”, but can be secular or atheistic.
Where seen: Puritan America, Confucian China, Dickensian England, totalitarianism, codes of chivalry and honor, charitable good deeds, religious fundamentalism (e.g., Christian and Islamic), Boy and Girl Scouts, “moral majority,” patriotism. 40% of the population, 30% of the power.
5. . Orange: Scientific Achievement. At this wave, the self “escapes” from the “herd mentality” of blue, and seeks truth and meaning in individualistic terms, experimental, objective, “scientific” in the typical sense. The world is a rational and well-oiled machine with natural laws that can be learned, mastered, and manipulated for one’s own purposes. Highly achievement oriented, especially (in America) toward materialistic gains. The laws of science rule politics, the economy, and human events. The world is a chess-board on which games are played as winners gain pre-eminence and perks over losers. Marketplace alliances; manipulate earth’s resources for one’s strategic gains. Basis of corporate states.
Where seen: The Enlightenment, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged , Wall Street, emerging middle classes around the world, cosmetics industry, trophy hunting, colonialism, the Cold War, fashion industry, materialism, secular humanism, liberal self-interest. 30% of the population, 50% of the power.
6. Green: The Sensitive Self . Communitarian, human bonding, ecological sensitivity, networking. The human spirit must be freed from greed, dogma, and divisiveness; feelings and caring supersede cold rationality; cherishing of the earth, Gaia, life. Against hierarchy; establishes lateral bonding and linking. Permeable self, relational self, group intermeshing. Emphasis on dialogue, relationships. Basis of value communities (i.e., freely chosen affiliations based on shared sentiments). Reaches decisions through reconciliation and consensus (downside: interminable “processing” and incapacity to reach decisions). Refresh spirituality, bring harmony, enrich human potential. Strongly egalitarian, anti-hierarchy, pluralistic values, social construction of reality, diversity, multiculturalism, Subjective, nonlinear thinking; shows a greater degree of affective warmth, sensitivity, and caring, for earth and all its inhabitants.
Where seen: Deep ecology, postmodernism, Netherlands idealism, Rogerian counseling, Canadian health care, humanistic psychology, liberation theology, cooperative inquiry, World Council of Churches, Greenpeace, animal rights, ecofeminism, post-colonialism, politically correct, diversity movements, human rights issues, ecopsychology. 10% of the population, 15% of the power. [Note: this is 10% of the world population. Don Beck estimates that around 20-25% of the American population is green.
7. Yellow: Integrative. Life is a kaleidoscope of natural hierarchies. Flexibility, spontaneity, and functionality have the highest priority. Differences and pluralities can be integrated into interdependent, natural flows. Egalitarianism is complemented with natural degrees of ranking and excellence. Knowledge and competency should supersede power, status, or group sensitivity. The prevailing world order is the result of the existence of different levels of reality and the inevitable patterns of movement up and down the dynamic spiral. Good governance facilitates the emergence of entities through the levels of increasing complexity. 1% of the population, 5% of the power.
8. Turquoise: Holistic. Universal holistic system, waves of integrative energies; unites feeling with knowledge; multiple levels interwoven into one conscious system. Universal order, but in a living, conscious fashion, not based on external rules (blue) or group bonds (green). A “grand unification” is possible, in theory and in actuality. Sometimes involves the emergence of a new spirituality as a meshwork of all existence. Turquoise thinking uses the entire Spiral; sees multiple levels of interaction; detects harmonics, the mystical forces, and the pervasive flow-states that permeate any organization. 0.1% of the population, 1% of the power.
Where do you think you fit in? Where is Unity’s belief system?
Isn’t it a shame that only .1% of the population is at level 8?
Can you understand a bit better that the person you have difficulty with is at a level maybe different than you for a majority of their time. And that you, sometimes are at that same level….
I think it helps in understanding the human condition.
If you wish more information on this fascinating subject, there are several books available. And for more on a spiritual perspective, you could check out Ken Wilber’s take on Spiral Dynamics and Spirituality.
Let me finish with this by an unknown author:
“The Train of Life”
“Life is like a journey on a train… With its stations… With changes of routes… And with accidents! At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone.
“As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant I.e. Our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life. Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don’t realize that they vacated their seats! Which is very sad when you think about it.
“This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all the passengers… requiring that we give the best of ourselves.
“The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way – love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty — we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.
“I wish you a joyful journey this year on the train of life. Reap success and give lots of love. More importantly, give thanks for the journey!
“Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train!” Unknown
The Blessings of Animals
I could start this Lesson by asking how many of you are or have been pet owners, but it would probably be easier to ask, who isn’t or hasn’t been a pet owner?
There are approximately 86.4 million pet cats in the United States, approximately 78.2 million pet dogs in the United States, and 5.3 million house rabbits.
And surprisingly, in 2013, pets outnumbered children four to one in the United States!
That IS surprising, in a way, but then I think of the fact that families are ‘down-sizing’ meaning many are choosing to have fewer children, yet it’s very easy to have multiple pets, from dogs and cats to fish and gerbils, and all other varieties of animals.
And some of us choose to not have children at all, opting for the furry kind instead.
Why are our pets so important to our us? We gain much from our relationships with our animal brothers and sisters.
“The loving, innocent world of animals serves as a good example for me. The more you stop to observe animals and learn from them, the healthier and more peaceful your life will be.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
I’m sure you can speak personally of the benefits of the animals in our lives. From
greater self-esteem, being less lonely and less fearful than people without pets.
Pets provide their owners with physical and emotional benefits. Walking a dog can supply both the human and pet with exercise, fresh air, and social interaction.
Pets can give companionship. They bring us closer to our Creator. The biblical story of the flood illustrates God’s love for animals. And Jesus emphasized God’s love for every member of creation when He said: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight” (Lk. 12:6).
BTW – The metaphysical interpretation of that verse is ’when we use all that is available to us, the 5 elements (earth, air, fire. Water & the ether) when creating with our thoughts, we create positive abundance.’
If you are interested in metaphysically interpreting messages, verses, etc. talk with me later. Or come to the Basics class on Saturday!
“Animals are closer to God than humans. They are closer to the source. The humans are more lost in the mind forms.” Echart Tolle
Our dogs have had to adapt to living with humans over the past 10,000 years, and they have done it very well—they are the only animal to have evolved specifically to be our companions and friends. Anthropologist Brian Hare has developed the “Domestication Hypothesis” to explain how dogs morphed from their grey wolf ancestors into the socially-skilled animals with whom we now interact in very much the same way that we relate to other people.
In fact, our relationships with dogs can be even more satisfying than our human relationships, if for no other reason than dogs provide us with such unconditional, uncritical positive feedback.
Interacting with dogs makes us feel good, and just looking at them can make us smile. Dog owners score higher on measures of well-being and, on average, they are happier than people who own cats and those who own no pets at all.
And dogs seem to feel the same way about us. They have been selectively bred through generations to pay attention to us, and MRI scans show that dog brains respond to praise from their owners just as strongly as they do to food—for some dogs, praise is an even more effective incentive than food.
If the idea of cuddling with a pet to help ward off allergies seems a little backwards to you, the following may come as a surprise: University of Wisconsin-Madison pediatrician James E. Gern has conducted a number of studies that demonstrate having a pet in the home can actually lower a child’s likelihood of developing related allergies by as much as 33 percent. In fact, his research — as published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology — shows that children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems overall.
I am sure you know about the studies in prisons showing a decrease violence and destructive behavior among psychopaths when they work with animals. And we know the introduction of dogs in the prison systems have shown increased benefits to prisoner’s rehabilitation.
As the old saying goes, “May I become the kind of person that my dog thinks I already am.”
Dogs recognize people from their facesand can learn to infer human emotional states from facial expression alone. Studies also indicate that dogs can understand human intentions, that they try to be helpful to us, and that they will even avoid people who do not cooperate with us or treat us well.
Dogs communicate with us as no other animal does. They are skilled at comprehending spoken words and using their own vocalizations to communicate with us in return.
Our strong attachment to dogs was subtly revealed in a recent study of “misnaming.” This is what happens when you call someone by the wrong name, such as when parents mistakenly call one of their kids by a sibling’s name. It turns out that the name of the family dog frequently gets confused in the same mix as other human family members, indicating that the dog’s name is being pulled out of the same cognitive pool in which the names of other family members are swimming around. Curiously, this rarely happens with cat names.
This shows us ever more how important our animals are…that they really are a part of our families.
So, losing a pet can be devastating to us.
Psychologist Julie Axelrod pointed out that the loss of a dog is so painful because we are not losing just one thing; we experience multiple losses at the same time. We may be losing our primary companion, a source of unconditional love, a “life witness” who provides security and comfort to us, or as my friend said when her little 18 year old Yorkie passed, “She was the longest relationship I had.”
The loss of a dog seriously disrupts our daily routine, even more profoundly than the loss of most friends and relatives, and changes in lifestyle and routine are one of the primary building blocks of stress.
Unfortunately, there’s little in our cultural playbook—no grief rituals, no obituary in the local newspaper, no religious service—to help us get through the loss of a pet, which can make us feel more than a bit embarrassed to show too much public grief over our dead dogs.
Maybe that’s something we as a Community should look into…
A Pet’s Prayer: “Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in the entire world is more grateful for your kindness than mine. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t strike me, chain me or lock me up as punishment. After all, you have your job, your friends and your entertainment. I only have you.”
If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food everyday with excitement and gratitude,
If you can greet your loved ones with a huge kiss no matter how long they’ve left you alone,
If you can ignore a friend’s limitations and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help, relax without liquor, and sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can say honestly that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion or politics,
And if you can welcome each day as if it is your first,
Then, my friend, you are almost as good as my dog!
A hard example to follow…
“Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.” — John Muir
I realize much of this mentioned dogs but I know that those of you who hold the love of other animals in your heart feel the same
Let’s hear some stories from some of you…
And now, let’s Bless them…look at your pet if they are here with you, touch them or look at the picture you are holding, envision them in your mind and heart. Our loved ones may be physically away from us, but they are forever in our heart. So, when we remember them in our prayers, we envision their inner light of God shining through.
Remember, when we grieve for them, it is the love we are feeling coming through.
And if your pet is with you, envision love and light surrounding them and radiating through them.
We are reminded that all creatures are loved by our God.
So, take a moment to remember the love you have received or are receiving from your pet. Let them know that you understand they are part of the Creator’s world and are Blessed and loved very much by Spirit just as you love them.
So, thank them for their love and faithfulness toward you and for Blessing your life and home. Promise to protect them from harm and illness. And to love them throughout your life.